QCamera::stop hangs or causes a crash. How to deinit the camera properly?



  • My program connects to the camera (QCamera::start()), receives one viewfinder frame (via a custom QAbstractVideoSurface sublcass with overridden present method), and then disconnects from the camera (by calling stop and then deleting the camera object).

    One of two things happen: either the stop call freezes indefinitely, or access violation occurs deep inside Qt multimedia after calling QCamera::~QCamera() (but not directly through the destructor; something goes wrong afterward in some event handler). This is on Windows. Here's the link to the project's repository for testing.

    What's the problem?

    I suspect stop() may be a non-blocking call and deleting the QCamera immediately is a mistake. I've tried calling unload after stop, but it didn't fix the problem. So how to delete QCamera properly and safely?


  • Qt Champions 2016

    @Violet-Giraffe said:

    One of two things happen: either the stop call freezes indefinitely, or access violation occurs deep inside Qt multimedia after calling QCamera::~QCamera() (but not directly through the destructor; something goes wrong afterward in some event handler).

    I don't have a windows to test, but the stack trace of the crash may be useful.

    I suspect stop() may be a non-blocking call and deleting the QCamera immediately is a mistake. I've tried calling unload after stop, but it didn't fix the problem. So how to delete QCamera properly and safely?

    If you're correct in your suspicion, you can delete the camera through an event, try: camera->deleteLater().



  • That doesn't explain stop hanging, though. Probably a lock of some kind.


  • Qt Champions 2016

    @Violet-Giraffe said:

    That doesn't explain stop hanging, though. Probably a lock of some kind.

    It may be, it also might be a bug, or some idiosyncrasy of the Windows' backend. I have no reference for comparison, so I can't know.

    PS:
    Btw, you're intercepting the _displayWidget's paint event, but you're not stopping its propagation, is this intended?



  • No, that's a mistake. Good catch, thank you.


  • Qt Champions 2016

    @Violet-Giraffe

    Good catch, thank you.

    No problem. Do consider interrupting the runtime when you get stop() to hang and extracting the stack. It may attract some better answers.

    Kind regards.



  • Here's the crash stack:

    https://snag.gy/wWpe6m.jpg

    Of course, the moment I decided I'm going to capture the stack of the freeze I lost the ability to reproduce it.



  • @Violet-Giraffe

    Hello,

    Are you deleting the QCamera object in slot connected to signal that was thrown by the camera?


  • Qt Champions 2016

    @Violet-Giraffe

    It appears the event loop is crashing, I can't see any reference to your code in that trace (except the trivial QApplication::exec). However:

    _camera = std::make_shared<QCamera>(cameraInfo);
    

    Looks suspicious. Qt has its own ownership system for QObject subclasses, so this shared pointer could be deleting the camera based on you "not using" the camera anymore, while there's a scheduled event somewhere in the event loop still referencing the object. I suggest dropping that line and using a raw pointer (or better yet QPointer) to track the object's lifetime.

    Kind regards.



  • @t3685
    I'm deleting it in a slot connected to QAbstractVideoSurface::present(). Now that I think about it, it may well be, in turn, called from QCamera. I will investigate.



  • @kshegunov said:

    Qt has its own ownership system for QObject subclasses,

    It does have an ownership system, but not reference counting. Raw pointers are raw pointers. I might have to use deleteLater, though, but it's not documented in any QCamera samples I've seen.


  • Qt Champions 2016

    @Violet-Giraffe said:

    It does have an ownership system, but not reference counting.

    It has parent-child system instead; no need for reference counting, as there can't be QObject copying anyway. Additionally, Qt provides (as already mentioned) guarded pointers to QObjects, so reference counting becomes unnecessary. By giving a parent to a QObject you ensure the memory will be freed. And while it's generally possible to just delete a QObject @t3685's question is relevant - you can't do it from inside a slot. My advice is to post a deferred delete through QObject::deleteLater (and keep your camera pointer in a QPointer not STL shared one).

    Kind regards.


  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    Hi,

    a slot connected to present ? Can you tell more about that ?

    In any case, deleting a camera from a QAbstractVideoSurface doesn't sound like a good idea. What happens usually is that your camera backend receives a QAbstractVideoSurface to paint images on.



  • @SGaist
    Yes, I don't know the specific chain of events that lead to a crash, but I'm certain that deleting the QCamera object from a slot connected to present was the cause of the problem.
    I didn't exactly fix it, instead I decided to keep the QCamera object and stop + unload it instead of stop + delete. Makes more sense since I know I always need to connect to the same camera, might as well avoid constructing it from scratch every time.

    What I have is a custom QAbstractVideoSurface subclass with present(const QVideoFrame& frame) method overridden. It takes the frame, converts it to QImage and emits it in a signal. The image is then displayed and analyzed to take different actions. I hate having to reject the the native QCameraViewfinder widget entirely (which probably uses OpenGL for fast rendering) and use the slow QPainter::drawImage, but I didn't find any other way to intercept the viewfinder frames other than grab() from the QCameraViewfinder widget, which is also an odd method that I don't like.


  • Lifetime Qt Champion

    What about QVideoProbe ?



  • Isn't implemented for QCamera on Windows.


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